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We use Kanban since a couple of months and have some difficulties to implent it 100%. Nowadays, we use it more as a todo list than a real Project Management System. You will find below some of my biggest questions on which I could find an answer by myself :

  • How should we create a Kanban card ? We don't have the typical "As a User, I want _____" but we do wireframes, mockups, HTML/CSS Integration, etc. This is why I thought to create my cards only with the title "Home page" so that it can go through the all Kanban board. Then there is the problem that the card can be an XL (1, 2 or 3 days)
  • I am also a bit afraid as PM to give up my calendar. How can I be 100% Kanban (I mean flexibel) and have clear deadlines from my client ? For Example : "we want wireframes on the 10th August and mockups on the 10th of September. We thought about sessions like 2 days per week is for client meetings, the rest is only production.
  • Also as an agency (12 people), we have a lot of projects at the same time and we are not focussed on 1. Should we do small teams of think more about ressources than person ? Me as PM should maybe not say "Michael will do the design of this website" but "One of the designer or together should do it, they have 40 hours, that's it".

Thank you for your help !

Greetings from Europe !

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    Welcome to the community. Please consider breaking down your question into several ones and giving each of them the meaningful title. – Vadim Tikanov Jul 1 '15 at 11:11
  • I've tried to give you a bit of background information in my answer below, but I'd strongly recommend doing some reading on Kanban and User Stories, then posting more specific questions. – tombraider Jul 1 '15 at 16:33
  • I am agree with Vadim's comment. It will be better to break this question to a few. – Sergey Kudryavtsev Jul 2 '15 at 13:46
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Welcome to the community!

As Vadim mentioned in his comment, your question is a little complex, so I'm going to try and break it down into bitesize chunks.

We use it more as a todo list than a real project management system.

First off, strictly speaking, Kanban is not a project management system or methodology. Kanban is a framework, or a set of principles and techniques, that a team or individual works by. Whilst Kanban is often associated with Agile development, it is perfectly acceptable to adopt a Kanban approach in a traditional waterfall environment as well.

How should we create a Kanban card? We don't have the typical "As a User, I want _____"

What you've described at the end is a 'User Story'. User Stories are incredibly common in all areas of web development, and represent features and requirements. A typical User Story consists of three parts:

As a [type of user], I want to [a goal] so that [reasoning].
As a user, I can indicate folders not to backup so that my backup drive isn't filled up with things I don't need saved.

Mike Cohn (Mountain Goat Software) has written some great information about User Stories as a whole, so I'd advise heading over there and having a read through.

How can I be 100% Kanban (I mean flexible) and have clear deadlines for my client ?

This all depends on what deadlines have been agreed with your client, and how your team approaches the project. Kanban is flexible due to the fact that there are no fixed phase durations, and your team should never be undertaking on more than X many tasks at a time. This is known as 'Work in Progress' limits.

As a PM I shouldn't say "Michael will do the design of this website". Instead, it should be "One of the design team should undertake this, they have 40 hours".

I would suggest moving this into a separate question, as we're straying away from Kanban and into resource/traffic management. I assure that very few agencies focus on one project at a time, we are all playing the juggling game.

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I'm hoping this will give you a bit of background information so you can come back and post some specific questions that will gather more answers from the wider community.

I would suggest researching the following areas first:

  • User Stories. If you are practicing wire framing, then your team understands the importance of UX. In my opinion, User Stories are the backbone of UX, and it can be incredibly difficult to understand requirements without them.

  • Kanban as a whole. Atlassian have a great introduction here.

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